“In a small Phase II study of early-stage breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that more than half of the women who took the PARP inhibitor talazoparib once daily prior to surgery had no evidence of disease at the time of surgery. If further validated in larger, confirmatory trials, the oral medication could replace chemotherapy for these patients.
“The trial, which expands upon a feasibility study published in npj Breast Cancer, was presented today as an oral presentation at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting by Jennifer Litton, M.D., associate professor of Breast Medical Oncology.”
“A novel approach to immunotherapy developed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has led to the complete regression of breast cancer in a patient who was unresponsive to all other treatments. This patient received the treatment in a clinical trial led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Surgery Branch at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR), and the findings were published June 4, 2018 in Nature Medicine. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health.
” ‘We’ve developed a high-throughput method to identify mutations present in a cancer that are recognized by the immune system,’ Dr. Rosenberg said. ‘This research is experimental right now. But because this new approach to immunotherapy is dependent on mutations, not on cancer type, it is in a sense a blueprint we can use for the treatment of many types of cancer.’ ”
“Cancer is a popular topic for the media, as people care and worry about it in equal measure.
“News reports help people find out what researchers are working on, and how charitable donations are being spent. They also helps generate interest in the amazing science going on. But perhaps most of all, health stories and clinical trial results have a direct impact on people, raising interest in the latest discoveries further.
“And when it comes to cancer, the emotion that’s tied to the subject means that scientific results must be discussed in a measured and accurate way. And most of the time that’s exactly what happens.”
“In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Goodman et al found that adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with better outcome in patients with early breast cancer who had detectable circulating tumor cells (CTCs).
“The analysis included data from patients with stage pT1 to pT2 and pN0 to pN1 breast cancer and known CTC status from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) from January 2004 to December 2014 and the phase III SUCCESS trial from September 2005 to September 2013.”
“The use of genetic tests aimed at detecting the presence of mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in women with breast cancer is rapidly declining in favor of tests that can detect multiple cancer-associated mutations, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and five other U.S. medical centers.
“Some researchers had wondered whether multigene testing, which may identify genetic mutations of uncertain clinical significance, would lead more women to consider prophylactic mastectomies — a surgery in which both breasts are removed to prevent future cancers — out of an abundance of caution. However, the current study did not show an increase in mastectomies associated with testing more genes.”
“A few months ago, olaparib (Lynparza, AstraZeneca) was the first drug approved to treat women with advanced breast cancer with germline mutations in BRCA.
“That approval was based on a significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) compared with standard chemotherapy shown in the OlympiAD trial. The results led to quite some excitement among breast cancer researchers, as for example in the Medscape Oncologycommentary ‘OlympiAD: Olaparib Captures Gold for BRCA-Mutated Breast Cancer Patients.’
“Now, however, a final analysis of OlympiAD results shows that overall survival (OS) did not significantly improve.”
“The first-ever direct comparison of three adjuvant aromatase inhibitors for the treatment of postmenopausal hormone receptor–positive early breast cancer shows no significant differences in clinical efficacy or safety, according to an Italian research team.
“In the randomized, open-label phase 3 FATA-GIM3 trial of almost 3700 women, the 5-year disease-free survival for patients treated with anastrozole (Arimidex, Novartis), exemestane (Aromasin, Pfizer), or letrozole (Femara, Novartis) was 90.0%, 88.0% and 89.4%, respectively.”
“Many breast cancer therapies cause damage to the heart. However, in the largest study of its kind so far, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have now shown that the risk of death from heart disease in breast cancer patients following radiotherapy or chemotherapy is no higher than it is among the average population. Good risk management in the hospitals as well as control screenings at short intervals seem to make up for elevated risks.”